Consumer group warns of ‘hazardous’ toys on shelves, online
It's the most wonderful time of the year ... when you're being warned to watch out for dangerous and toxic toys.
According to the 33rd annual Trouble in Toyland Report from New Jersey Public Interest Research Group (NJPIRG), toys available on shelves and online this holiday season may not be as innocent as they seem.
A number of popular "slime" products, for example, contain toxic levels of the chemical boron — up to 15 times the European Union limit. America does not have its own standards for boron in products — something the advocacy organizations hopes will change soon.
But the risks would only present themselves if a child decides to use more than just their hands to explore the slime.
"Ingesting boron can cause nausea, vomiting, long-term reproductive health issues and can even be fatal, according to the EPA," said Caroline Smith, campaign coordinator for NJPIRG.
Online retail giant Amazon was cited a couple times in the 2018 report for inadequately warning customers of a product's risks.
According to the report, no choking-hazard labels were found on 87 percent of the latex balloons marketed on Amazon to parents of children under 2. Among children's products, balloons are the leading cause of suffocation death.
Amazon also failed to warn consumers that certain toys, such as L.O.L. Surprises and Hatchimals may contain small parts, the report finds.
As of late Tuesday afternoon, Amazon had not responded to a request for comment.
From 2001 to 2016, 116 toy-related choking deaths among children younger than 15 were reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The report also warned parents to beware of "connected" toys that may disclose private data and expose children to other risks.
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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at email@example.com.